The two leaders "highlighted the importance to reach agreements on the gas problem" during the Russian-Ukrainian-EU talks scheduled for October 29.
Tuesday’s three-party gas meeting on Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia, involving Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, once again ended without the expected result as no sources of financing for the repayment of Kiev’s debt were found.
Ukraine’s failure to repay its debt for the supplied gas is the key obstacle to a temporary gas deal with Russia, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said after the three-party talks.
The EU is seeking guarantees for stable gas supplies in winter. Otherwise, Ukraine may siphon off Russia’s Europe-bound natural gas. Russia also wants to ensure stable gas supplies to European consumers accurately paying their gas bills and recover a $5.3 billion debt from Ukraine, which acknowledges only a debt of $3.1 billion.
Leaders of Russian and Germany in their telephone conversation also discussed the possibility of holding another meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in the nearest future.
The Kremlin’s press service said the leaders “following talks in Milan on October 16-17, continued discussing the situation around the domestic conflict in Ukraine.”
“The Russian president emphasized the necessity of the situation’s deescalation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, first of all, by means of real ceasefire, provision of security along the division line between the two conflicting parties and urgent provision of humanitarian aid,” the Kremlin said.
Putin and Merkel have also expressed hope for progress at the gas talks in Brussels, the Kremlin press service said. The two leaders "highlighted the importance to reach agreements on the gas problem" during the Russian-Ukrainian-EU talks scheduled for October 29.